Oct 31, 2021 Latest post:
Jan 27, 2023
Welcome to our CaringBridge website for Marie. This has been created to bring together Marie's community of loved ones. Let this be a safe space to share anecdotal stories and anything that comes up when you think of Marie. The authors of this site will post updates as they arise as well as ways to contribute or help.
The story: Marie noticed a lump in her neck towards the end of September that was growing rapidly and starting to effect her ability to breath and swallow. She had an ultrasound of her thyroid with biopsy on 10/6 which showed cancer. There was little known about the type or extent of the cancer at that time. She underwent surgery on 10/12 in an attempt to remove the thyroid and all of the cancer. The surgery revealed an extensive complex malignant tumor (cancerous) nodule with irregular boarders that they were unable to fully remove despite best efforts. The cancer had significant involvement with infiltration of the esophagus (how food travels to the stomach), and her laryngeal nerve which has impacted her ability to speak with ease. The relief from the compression, however, has helped her feel more comfortable.
From the surgical biopsy, she was diagnosed with Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer with squamous cell variant as well as papillary thyroid cancer with mutation and Hurthle cell carcinoma on 10/27. This is a rare, highly aggressive, fast form of thyroid cancer occurring in less than 1% of the population. There is no known cause or cure though there are some treatments to slow symptom burden. The prognosis for this type of cancer is poor and most people do not live very long once this cancer is discovered, regardless of metastasis (spread to other areas of the body) at the time of diagnosis. Marie received a CT scan to explore spread on 10/30 with lesions on adrenal and R pulmonary area and questioning bladder Mets.
Treatment options are very limited as this cancer is aggressive and tends to grow rapidly and spread and outsmarts even aggressive treatment efforts fairly quickly.
As Marie is faced with many time sensitive decisions, she is choosing to prioritize her comfort, quality of life, independence, and engaging in meaningful connections above all else. She welcomes hearing highlights of your life. Marie wants to enjoy her days with walks outside, spending time at the beach, eating good food while she can still swallow, spending time with family and loved ones, and her cat, playing (and winning) games, laughing, loving, taking in the love from a perspective of gratitude for each day and living as long as she can at home. Marie cherishes her strong, supportive loved ones and allies and all the ways each contribute, enrich, and define her greatest joys in life.
Details of treatment, prognosis, and timelines will be updated with journal entries as they arise.